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A Multicast-Enabled Delivery Framework for QoE Assurance of Over-The-Top Services in Multimedia Access Networks


Over-The-Top (OTT) video services are becoming more and more important in today’s broadband access networks. While original OTT services only offered short duration medium quality videos, more recently, premium content such as high definition full feature movies and live video are offered as well. For operators, who see the potential in providing Quality of Experience (QoE) assurance for an increased revenue, this introduces important new network management challenges. Traditional network management paradigms are often not suited for ensuring QoE guarantees as the provider does not have any control on the content’s origin. In this article, we focus on the management of an OTT-based video service. We present a loosely coupled architecture that can be seamlessly integrated into an existing OTT-based video delivery architecture. The framework has the goal of resolving the network bottleneck that might occur from high peaks in the requests for OTT video services. The proposed approach groups the existing Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) based video connections to be multicasted over an access network’s bottleneck and then splits them again to reconstruct the original HTTP connections. A prototype of this architecture is presented, which includes the caching of videos and incorporates retransmission schemes to ensure robust transmission. Furthermore, an autonomic algorithm is presented that allows to intelligently select which OTT videos need to be multicasted by making a remote assessment of the cache state to predict the future availability of content. The approach was evaluated through both simulation and large scale emulation and shows a significant gain in scalability of the prototype compared to a traditional video delivery architecture.

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The iMinds Phanter (PHysical layer and Access Node TEchnology Revolutions) is a project co-funded by iMinds (Interdisciplinary institute for Technology) a research institute founded by the Flemish Government. Companies and organizations involved in the project are Alcatel-Lucent Bell, KULeuven ESAT, UGent TELIN, iMinds-IBCN, with project support of IWT. Steven Latré is funded by grant of the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders (FWO-V).

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Correspondence to Niels Bouten.

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Bouten, N., Latré, S., Van de Meerssche, W. et al. A Multicast-Enabled Delivery Framework for QoE Assurance of Over-The-Top Services in Multimedia Access Networks. J Netw Syst Manage 21, 677–706 (2013).

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  • Autonomic management
  • HTTP Adaptive Streaming
  • Multicast
  • OTT services
  • Multimedia delivery